Magic circle firm Allen & Overy has increased its paternity leave allowance six-fold and has introduced paid leave for those undergoing fertility treatment, in a drive to keep up with ‘changing family life’.

From 1 March, new fathers at the firm will be entitled to 12 weeks paid leave, up from two weeks. This matches Linklaters’ new offering, introduced in the new year. For new mothers, Allen & Overy has introduced a phased return to work after maternity leave.

Those undergoing fertility treatment will also be entitled to five days paid leave a year, and an updated neonatal leave policy will allot extra time for parents whose baby is born prematurely or requires neonatal unit care. Lawyers hoping to adopt will be entitled to ‘enhanced adoption leave’ to attend relevant appointments and meetings, on top of normal parent leave allowances.

Global HR director Sasha Hardman said: ‘The face of family life is changing so we have listened to what’s important to our people to make sure we’re keeping pace with change. We want to make it clear that you can have a family and build a successful career at A&O. There is more support, flexibility and encouragement to do this than ever’.

The firm is also updating its policies in the UAE, claiming it will provide ‘one of the most generous’ leave offers in the region. Changes include increasing paid paternity leave from two to 12 weeks.